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                                          A Home-Based Business Online


                                                     March 2

                                               Sent to 4,189 subscribers

                                                  Editor: Elena Fawkner
                                            Publisher: AHBBO Publishing
                                              Contact By Email


                                                    IN THIS ISSUE

        1.     Welcome and Update from the Editor
        2.     Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Specialty
                Travel Agency
        3.     Feature Article - Pricing Yourself to Get and Stay In
        4.     Newsletter Publishing Tutorial - Part 6 - Delivering
                Your Ezine: Email and Web
        5.     Pro-motion Column - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"
        6.     Freebies
        8.     This Week's Web Site Pick
        9.     Next Week in A Home-Based Business Online
        11.   Subscription Management
        13.   Contact Information

        1. Welcome and Update from the Editor

        Hello again and a warm welcome to all new subscribers!

        Thanks for the great feedback on the newsletter publishing
        tutorial following last week's instalment.  I'm glad to see so
        many of you have accepted the challenge and are starting your
        own publications.  For those of you who are interested, I'm
        happy to critique first issues and give you private feedback.
        Also, apologies for the error in the autoresponder link for last
        week's instalment.  The correct address, as I'm sure you
        figured out, was .

        Remember, this newsletter is for YOU! If you have comments
        or suggestions for topics you would like to see addressed,
        or would just like to share your experiences with other
        subscribers, I want to hear from you! Please send comments,
        questions and stories to Contact By Email


        2. Home-Based Business Idea of the Week - Specialty Travel Agency

        Unlike the typical travel agency that will put together a
        run-of-the-mill package tour, book a flight, arrange car rental
        and hotel bookings, a specialty travel agency focuses on
        the speciality travel market: the adventure seekers, special-
        interest groups, specific geographic locations etc..

        As a specialty travel agent, you may choose to focus on
        one specific segment of the specialty travel market, such as
        adventure holidays, or on several segments.  You may
        combine white-water rafting holidays, treks in Nepal, African
        Safaris and ecotourism, for example.

        Specialty travel will require you to have an intimate knowledge
        of the segments of the markets you intend to focus on.  So,
        if you decide to specialize in trekking holidays, you're going
        to have to know your stuff and that means getting out there
        and doing it for yourself first so you know what you're talking
        about.  Likewise, don't decide on bird-watching tours as your
        area of specialty if you know nothing about birds.  Pick
        something you're enthusiastic and knowledgeable about and
        you'll be well-placed to package memorable holidays that your
        clients will talk about for years to come assuring you of repeat
        business and word of mouth referrals.

        Useful resources:

        => Sites

        => Books

        Home-Based Travel Agent: How to Cash in on the Exciting New
        World of Travel Marketing by Kelly Monaghan

        Guide to Starting and Operating a Successful Travel Agency
        by Laurence Stevens

        Marketing and Selling the Travel Product
        by James F. Burke  Barry Paul Resnick

        These titles and many others related to starting a travel agency
        business can be ordered online at Barnes & Noble
        http://www.barnesandnoble.com or Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com .


        There are many more ideas like this in AHBBO's Home
        Business Ideas page at
        and Online Business Ideas page at
        with more being added
        all the time.

        3. Feature Article - Pricing Yourself to Get, and Stay In, Business

        By Elena Fawkner

        It goes without saying that the bottom line of any successful
        business is profit.  don't make a profit and you won't be in
        business for very long.  Making a profit is pretty simple really.
        You just have to make more than you spend.  The trick is to
        know how much you have to make to exceed what you spend.
        And you spend more than money when running a business.
        You spend something infinitely more valuable.  Time.  And,
        as we all know, time is money.

        To maximize profits, accurate pricing is absolutely critical.
        Your prices must be high enough to cover costs and enable
        you to earn a reasonable return but low enough to remain
        attractive to prospective clients.

        New entrepreneurs often have difficulty accurately pricing
        the value of their time and expertise.  Some take the approach
        that they can work cheaply because they are fast and they're
        prepared to take any work, now matter how low-paying, to fill
        in the time between more lucrative assignments.  For this
        group, the mindset appears to be that any work is better
        than no work.   Although this may seem reasonable when
        you're first starting out and you just want to make your
        mark as early as possible, the downside is that this short-
        sighted approach can create in customers a "cheap"
        mindset that is difficult to shift once the business becomes

        Another group of entrepreneurs, though, takes the approach
        from the outset that they are worth top dollar and demand
        fair pricing for the value they provide and won't accept anything
        less.  This group appears to be more successful than the
        former in the longer run.  Sure, they may find it slow to start
        with.  After all, they are new in town, they can't rely on
        repeat business and they can't ride the wave of their own
        impressive reputations.  But by setting the bar high to start
        with, when their businesses DO become established, they've
        set the tone and their businesses usually have a firmer
        foundation for it.

        This article looks at the fundamentals of pricing for the new
        home-based business entrepreneur.


        Here are some basic principles to keep in mind when
        considering your pricing strategies:

        =>  Prices must at least cover costs.

        If you don't at least cover costs, and this includes an
        amount for your time, you will incur a loss.  If your business
        is incurring a loss it's a hobby.

        => The best way to lower price is to lower costs

        As price equals costs plus profit margin, it's obviously better
        to reduce the cost element than the profit element if, for any
        reason, you find that you must reduce your prices.

        => Prices must reflect the environment in which they operate

        Any price, whether yours or your competitors', necessarily
        reflects the dynamics of cost, demand, market changes,
        competition, product utility, product longevity, maintenance
        and end use.

        => Prices must be within the range of what customers are
        prepared to pay

        It's all very well having the best bread slicer in the western
        world but if your price is more than customers are prepared
        to pay for it, so what?  On the other hand, there is absolutely
        no reason to charge less than customers are prepared to pay

        => Prices should be set at levels that will shift products
        and services and not to beat competitors alone

        It's easy when you start delving into all of the sophisticated
        analysis and research around about optimum pricing levels
        to forget that, at the end of the day, you set your prices as
        high as you can while still shifting your products and
        services.  So don't think that keeping pace with competitors
        is enough.  It isn't.  You may have competitive advantages
        that mean you can price higher than your competitor and
        still charge more.

        => The price you set should represent a fair return for your
        time, talent, risk and investment

        Don't be coy about demanding a reward for what you
        bring to the table.  Your expertise and talent has objective
        worth.  Don't just give it away.  Charge for it.


        The basic price you will strike is simply your costs plus a
        profit margin.  It follows that before you can set your prices
        you must know exactly what your costs are.  Costs fall
        into three main areas:

        => Direct Costs

        Direct costs are those things directly related to the creation
        of your product such as raw materials, parts and supplies.

        => Overheads

        Overheads are business costs not directly related to
        production and include things such as taxes, rent, office
        supplies and equipment, business related travel, insurance,
        permits, repair of equipment, utilities (electricity and
        telephone) and professional advice (accountant, lawyer).

        => Labor

        Labor costs include all wages paid to employees *including
        yourself*.  It's amazing how many home-business owners
        forget to include their time as a cost of business!

        Calculate your labor costs by multiplying the number of
        hours worked by an hourly wage.  You should also include
        fringe benefits (typically 15% plus).

        Once you have ascertained your total costs, add a profit
        margin.  A 15-20% profit margin is standard for most
        home-based businesses.  Although you have included
        your own wages in your labor costs, if you don't add a
        profit margin there will be no money for growth or expansion
        of the business.


        The easiest way to increase your profit is to raise your prices.
        But you can't just raise prices indiscriminately.  Look for
        ways to manipulate niche pricing instead.  This means
        looking for specific areas of your business where you have
        some latitude to increase prices.

        The way to do this is to identify the areas where the
        perceived value of what you are offering is higher than the
        price you are currently charging.  Start by carrying out a
        competitive analysis of your business.  Find out how your
        product compares with your competitors' on the basis not
        only of price but costs as well.

        If you are going to source this information by approaching
        competitors directly, a word of caution ... don't.  The
        Sherman Act in the US (and similar legislation in many
        other jurisdictions) prohibits businesses of any size from
        entering "contracts, combinations or conspiracies" in restraint
        of trade.  In other words, it's illegal to make deals with
        competitors about what price you'll charge or what services
        you'll offer.  Merely discussing prices with competitors can
        be construed as an attempt to conspire on prices.  This is
        one area where you just don't want to give even the *whiff*
        of an impression of doing anything of the sort.

        So, be circumspect in your research.  Never discuss prices
        with competitors and avoid frequent communications with
        them at all if possible.  Instead, to keep tabs on what your
        competition is up to, read their ads, talk to their suppliers,
        engage mystery shoppers or send an employee to make

        Once you have completed your competitive intelligence,
        analyze your competitive advantages and disadvantages.
        If, as a result of your analysis, you learn than you have
        an advantage over your competition because your business
        is website design and you know how to do cgi-scripting but
        your competition has to outsource this function and this
        means a delay of one to two weeks, then this advantage is
        something your customers will likely pay more for.  Adjust
        your prices accordingly.


        Some businesses don't offer tangible products at all.
        Sometimes, YOU are the product.  So, how do you price
        yourself if you're, say, an ecommerce consultant and
        your business is assisting brick and mortar businesses
        make the transition to ecommerce?

        One perfectly reasonable approach is to start with a
        calculation of your actual expenses and your salary needs
        and then divide the total by a reasonable estimate of billable
        hours.  An article entitled "Setting Fees" by David Dukoff
        gives a good overview of how to go about doing this. 

        Let's say your expenses and salary needs mean that your
        business needs to be generating $100,000 a year.  Let's
        also say you prefer to charge clients by the hour rather than
        by quoting on projects.  How much do you need to charge
        per billable hour to generate $100,000 per year?

        Dukoff uses the following approach.  To start with, how
        many billable hours do you have?  Let's start with 2,080
        work hours in a year.  Deduct 100 hours for vacation time
        (2 weeks), a further 80 hours for popular holidays, 40 hours
        personal time and sick leave and 20-40% of time for
        marketing and administration.  This leaves you with around
        1,000 billable hours in a year.  You therefore need to charge
        $100 per billable hour to achieve your goal of $100,000


        Other pricing strategies to include in your structure include
        discounts to encourage prompt payment or quantity
        purchases, seasonality issues (for example, end of season
        搒ales"), offering senior citizen and student discounts and
        other promotional incentives.

        As you can see, setting the "right" price for your products
        and services is absolutely crucial to the profitability (read
        survival) of your business in the longer term.  But with
        careful analysis and a methodical approach, you should be
        able to arrive at reasonable pricepoints without too much
        difficulty.  Then it's just a matter of monitoring demand in
        response to price changes to settle on the optimum pricing
        for your business.  But don't rest there.  Your prices operate
        within a constantly changing environment and you need to
        be ever-vigilant to ensure that your prices remain at their
        competitive maxima.  One final piece of advice:  if in doubt,
        price high rather than low.  It is much easier to discount
        prices than it is to increase them.



        4. Newsletter Publishing Tutorial - Part 6 - Delivering Your Ezine:
            Email and Web

        Last week we looked at how to generate initial subscribers
        for your newsletter.  This week we look at how, once you
        have generated an initial listing of subscribers, you will
        deliver your newsletter to them.

        This week's instalment is available at the AHBBO website
        or by autoresponder
        by sending a blank email to .


        Next Week Part 7 - Building Your Subscriber Database II -
        Long-Term Subscriber Generation, Publicizing, Ad Swapping
        and Joint Venturing Your Way to Critical Mass


        Missed previous instalments? No problem! All instalments
        of the AHBBO Newsletter Publishing Tutorial are archived at
        the AHBBO website at

        5. Pro-motion - Answers for the "Pro in Motion"

        Q. Why do I need a company name when I'm just working from
        home? (Susan A.)

        A. To be considered professional, even home workers need a
        company name if they are in business for themselves. You do
        want to be taken seriously, don't you? If so, you'll need
        to register a business name.

        The registration I'm referring to is often called a "DBA"
        (Doing Business As), a "Registered Alias" or an "Assumed
        Name Statement" in most States of the USA. I'm sure that
        agencies are provided for this purpose in countries outside
        the USA.

        Corporations are registered when they are formed. However,
        a company name needs to be registered even if it's a sole
        proprietorship, i.e., individually owned and unincorporated.
        Do you think that working on the Internet is exempt? It

        Actually, I'm not even referring to the legal aspects of
        owning a business. It's a simple matter of your degree of
        professionalism. If you are taking money from people to
        provide a product or service - you are a business!

        Without a business name registration, a bank won't give you
        a business bank account. What? You don't need a business
        bank account? Are you going to send refunds with your
        personal checks? Are you the same person who doesn't
        want customers to know where you're located?

        Are you in business, or not? Get your business registered
        and get a business bank account.

        Q. I join affiliate programs in order to be paid commissions on
        the products I promote. Do I really need a business name?
        (Bob W.)

        A. Well, that depends. Technically, you are a broker for the
        companies providing the products. You may choose to set up
        a company for that.

        However, if your chosen affiliate program companies take
        complete care of the customer after the sale, there may be
        no reason for anyone to contact you. You may simply be an
        independent contractor - which doesn't necessarily require a
        company name.

        Bear in mind though that the moment you begin publishing an
        ezine or newsletter to promote those products - if you sell
        advertising - you have now become a full-fledged business.

        Get a business name!

        Yes, a business bank account will cost a few bucks more than
        a personal account. But if you can't make that, you're
        already belly-up.

        * To submit questions to "Pro-motion"

        jl scott, ph.d., Author
        © 2013, All Rights Reserved
        This article may be reprinted with permission by including the
        following resource box:
        dr. jl scott is the Director of the International Association for
        Professionalism Online (IAPO) - and also
        the publisher of MONDAY MEMO! - the ezine dedicated to upgrading
        Professionalism on the Web. For your FREE subscription:



        6. Freebies

        => E-book
             Your Home-Based or Internet Business --- Protect
             It and Yourself from the IRS!
             By Jacqueline McLaughlin Hale


        If you're new to A Home-Based Business Online, be sure to
        visit for many more freebies.


        Increase sales instantly up to 200%. Accept your customers'
        credit cards with your own low-cost credit card merchant
        account. Quick & easy setup. New businesses, high-risk
        businesses welcome. 95% approval. NO application fee. NO
        setup fee. NO obligation. U.S. business only.


        8. This Week's Web Site Pick - Idea Cafe

        A place for entrepreneurs to hang out and rub shoulders
        with those in the know.  Idea Cafe wants you to get the
        information you need (and now!) but make sure you enjoy
        yourself at the same time.  Serious business in a fun
        environment.  An interesting site.

        For more about the concept behind Idea Cafe visit



        9. Next Week in A Home-Based Business Online

        -> Home Business Idea of the Week: Property Management
        -> Feature Article: Beyond Startup ... Are You Stunting the
            Growth of Your Home Business?
        -> Newsletter Publishing Tutorial: Part 7 - Building Your
            Subscriber Database II - Long-Term Subscriber Generation,
            Publicizing, Ad Swapping and Joint Venturing Your Way
            to Critical Mass

        11. Subscription Management

        To SUBSCRIBE to this Newsletter
        Home Based Business Ezine

        To UNSUBSCRIBE from this Newsletter

        If you find this newsletter valuable, please forward it
        in its entirety to your friends, family and associates!

        13. Contact Information

        Elena Fawkner, Editor
        A Home-Based Business Online
        Contact By Email


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        All Rights Reserved

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